On the day the Higher Education Bill is expected to go through parliament, figures from the Liberal Democrats reveal that top-up fees could see students graduating in 2010 with a total debt of £14bn.
Phil Willis MP, Liberal Democrat shadow education secretary, said: “This figure is shocking. Higher education should be about ability to learn, not ability to pay. Yesterday's decision on top-up fees will leave students graduating in 2010 with a debt twice the size of the government's budget for higher education this year.
“Fees equal debt. As fees increase, so will the number of students being forced to take desperate measures to pay off their debt.”
Willis adds: “For the first time in four years the intake of working class students intoour universities has not increased. Once again higher education is about to become the province of the wealthy, as real fear of debt will keep low and middle income families out of universities.”